How long a podcast should be?

It’s a question that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Because the ideal length of a podcast is as unique as the podcast itself. There are several factors that influence the length of a podcast, and understanding these factors is key to finding your perfect length.

It’s a personal and subjective process and it requires self-awareness and understanding of your own preferences and needs. Interestingly, the average length of podcasts has decreased over time. Once upon a time, podcasts were typically an hour long, but now the sweet spot seems to be around 30-40 minutes.

But remember, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it’s a trend, not a mandate.

Knowing your audience influences the podcast length

One of the most important factors to consider when determining the length of your podcast is your audience. Understanding your target audience is crucial in making the right decision. How busy is your audience? How much time can they dedicate to listening to your podcast? By understanding your audience’s availability and time constraints, you can tailor the length of your episodes to fit within their schedules, making your podcast more accessible and convenient for them.

The type of podcast you’re producing also plays a role in determining its length. For instance, if you’re hosting an interview show, a five-minute episode won’t cut it. Interviews require more time to fully explore the topic and allow for meaningful conversation.

On the other hand, if you’re hosting a solo show where you share tips and advice, an hour-long episode might be too much. Solo shows should be concise and to the point, providing valuable information without overwhelming the audience.

It’s also worth noting that the traditional concept of timing podcasts around the commute to work has changed. People’s habits and routines have evolved, and it’s more important to create content that is engaging and valuable regardless of when it’s consumed.

With the rise of on-demand media, listeners often consume podcast episodes across multiple sessions. This means that listeners may pause an episode and resume it at a later time without feeling like it disrupts their experience. This behavior should be taken into consideration when determining the length of podcast episodes.

Be flexible

Allowing for a range of lengths in episodes of a show is also a good idea. For example, one episode may naturally be 25 minutes long, while another might be 35 minutes long. Embrace this variability and establish a range of acceptable lengths with a specific preferred length identified as the sweet spot.

Occasionally, you might want to deviate from the usual rules in a special episode.

As long as it’s clear that the episode is a one-off, it’s acceptable to disregard the usual rules. However, don’t do this too frequently.

Deciding the ideal length for your podcast is a process that requires consideration

Last but not least, consider your existing commitments when deciding on the format and frequency of your podcast. The podcast should work for both you and any cohosts involved. Don’t commit to an hour-long podcast every week. If it’s not feasible in the long run, be realistic and practical.

Determining the ideal length for your podcast is a process that requires consideration of various factors, from your audience’s needs and preferences to the nature of your content. It’s a balance that you’ll find with time and experience. And remember, if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out for a chat.